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How Did Hawaii Change

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Hawaii and its inhabitants changed tremendously after the arrival of Captain Cook in 1778 during his third voyage into the Pacific. About 1,300 years earlier, the Polynesians first settled on the island of Hawaii. The rest of the Hawaiian islands- Kahoolawe, Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai, and Niihau- were then settled into 300 years later at about 900 A.D. It was not until the Tahitians arrived that the islands were individually ruled by a high priest and the Hawaiians began to believe in gods and demigods. During this time, social class, the art of hula, and the sport of surfing were created as well as conflicts concerning land division between the ruling chieftains. Their diet consisted of mainly vegetables, poi, fish, and the 30 varieties…show more content…
No one was allowed to move into another class unless they became an outcast. At the highest rank were the mo’i who were the main rulers or kings of a specific piece of land. The mo’i led the people into battle and was the head of religious rituals and performances. The mo’i also oversaw all of the taxes and were always advised by a chief minister and a high priest. Next in rank were the ali’i or the chiefs of all ranks. Although the mo’i were also part of the ali’i group, they were the highest chiefly rank which was what made them the kings. An ali’i’s rank depended on the genealogies of both of their parents which was why the ali’i status was nicknamed the “royal class”. The ali’i governed their piece of land with the divine power of God, called mana. The ali’i ‘aimoku were the second highest chiefs and they controlled the largest sections of land before dividing it among lower ranking ali’i. Those lower ranking ali’i would then divide the land and allow the commoners to be situated in their own sections. In return, the villagers would pay tribute to their konohiki, or overseer. The people would also give a portion of their harvest to their governing ali’i who would keep a portion for himself before giving the rest to the highest ali’i. Some ali’i had to attend to the king’s every command and constantly be at his side. Several ali’i were of the ali’i rank because of a special skill or strength. Because of this, the ali’i status could not be passed down to their children. An ali’i of high rank, or ali’i nui, created a life of restrictions, or kapu, for the Hawaiians. One ancient Hawaiian kapu stated that death would be sentenced to anyone caught stealing an ali’i nui’s mana. This essentially meant that no one was allowed to step in the shadow of an ali’i nui or else they would be killed. Additionally, if an ali’i nui placed a kapu on an animate or inanimate object then no one would be allowed to
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